Alison and her daughter both live gluten-free and have spent a lot of time perfecting some delicious GF versions of family favorites!
A Lovely Gluten-Free Treat
This deliciously moist, gluten-free traybake is so easy to make. The recipe makes 18 to 24 slices, depending on the size required. The slices keep well in an airtight tin for up to a week or frozen in a suitable freezer container for at least a month. This versatile recipe is delicious served with morning coffee or afternoon tea or warmed through and served as a pudding with ice cream, cream, or custard!
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For the cake:
- 3/4 cup/175 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup/175 grams soft brown sugar
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 1 1/2 cups/250 grams gluten-free self-raising flour
- 2 teaspoons/10 grams gluten-free baking powder
- 5 tablespoons/75 milliliters milk
- 1/4 cup/80 grams marmalade, thick cut
- 1/2 cup/100 grams dried, ready-to-eat apricots
For the glaze:
- 1/8 cup/40 grams marmalade (add more if required for the desired level of stickiness!)
- Preheat your oven to 180˚ C (160˚ C for fan ovens). This is about 350˚ F (320˚ F for fan ovens) or gas mark 4.
- Grease and line a ceramic or metal baking tray or shallow dish with baking parchment or grease-proof paper. Tip: Leave a good margin of baking paper round the edges to give yourself something to lift the cake out of the tray with when cooked (please see picture below). The tray should measure about 30 centimeters by 20 centimeters, but the dimensions are not critical so just use what you have.
- Crack all three eggs into a bowl or jug and beat together with a fork until well mixed. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the milk and marmalade. The marmalade will break up into smaller pieces which is exactly what you want; do not try to dissolve the marmalade in the milk. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- Now you are ready to start combining the ingredients for your sticky marmalade traybake! Begin by mixing together the softened butter and the soft brown sugar in a large bowl until smooth and creamy.
- Add the beaten eggs to the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time. Mix well after each addition.
- Add the milk and marmalade mixture; mix well.
- Add the flour and baking powder mixture, folding it in with a large spoon to trap air in the cake.
- Lastly, fold in the chopped apricots.
- Using a large spoon, transfer the mixture to your already prepared traybake tin or ceramic container. Smooth with a silicon spatula if you have one (if not, use the back of a spoon).
- Place the cake in the center of your preheated oven and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the center is withdrawn with no mixture sticking to it.
- Once cooked, remove your traybake from the oven and leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes before lifting out using the edges of the baking paper as 'handles' (as explained in step 2 above and illustrated in the photo below). Place on a wire rack.
- For the glaze, gently warm the remaining marmalade over a very low heat or over a bowl of hot water. When sufficiently softened, use a pastry brush to spread it over the top of your cake while the cake is still warm.
- When the glaze has cooled, you can transfer the cake to a cutting board (again, lift it using the edges of the baking paper). Cut the cake into slices. I usually make 18, but if baking for children, cutting it into smaller pieces could yield 24 or even 30 cake bars.
Recipe Variations You Can Try
This easy-to-make traybake is one of my 'staple recipes'. The basic recipe can be adapted easily, depending on the ingredients in your store cupboard.
Try one or more of these recipe variations.
- Cranberry and orange traybake: Replace the dried apricots with dried cranberries.
- Chocolate and cherry traybake: Replace two tablespoons of the flour with the same quantity of Cacao powder (use more or less according to taste). Replace the dried apricots with glacé cherries and the marmalade with cherry jam (sieve the jam you use for the glaze).
- Apple and lemon curd traybake: Replace the dried apricots with your favorite apple variety chopped into small pieces. Add about 1 dessertspoonful of lemon juice and mix well before adding to the cake. Use lemon curd for the topping of the cake.
Storage and Freezing
Store the cake bar slices in an airtight tin or other suitable container in a cool dry place. Use baking paper to separate the layers and prevent the marmalade topping on the bottom layer, sticking to the underside of the bars on top. These cake bars will keep fresh for about a week but in my house, that is not a problem I have to worry about as they never last that long!
Alternatively, freeze the slices in a suitable freezer-proof container. Once the slices are cold, pack into a container, separating the bars with strips of baking paper so that you can take out the required quantity without the cakes sticking together. These traybake bars will keep fresh in the freezer for at least a month. Defrost the cake slices in an airtight container for at least an hour before serving.
© 2020 Alison Graham